Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Your Abilities....Your Distractions

 You have 500 to 800 abilities.  What are you doing with them?  

This is a touchy topic for me.  It makes me rather sad to think about how much wasted talent is out there.   

I am still working through Pastor Rick Warren's Study and yesterday was about using your abilities for God's Purpose and for Good.   

There are two sides to this story - actually using your abilities and using them for God's Good.   

I think first about the struggle to actually use our abilities.  Are we really living to our full ability?  Probably daily, I hear "I wish I had your energy" and "it is easier when you are your age and not my age"....Umm, okay, I am exhausted, my hip hurts, my shoulder hurts, I drink 90,000 cups of coffee a week, and I am still NOT living to my full purpose.  

DISTRACTIONS is my greatest weakness.  Yesterday, I really wanted to finish my bathroom paint job, organize my office, clean off my kitchen table, and get the 2 boxes of sidewalk sale priced and out of my house.  At eight pm last night I picked up my brush, opened the can of paint and started painting.   I flipped on the podcast for the third time that day and listened to the message on my abilities.  

As I painted, I thought about how much time I waste on my cell phone.  Scrolling Facebook is the devil....and I know I am down screen time significantly compared to others - even those in my own house.  BUT I still waste so much time not doing work that I need to be doing.  Not just work around my house and my shop but work for the good of God's Kingdom.  

I put off writing all weekend.  I was convicted all weekend, but I felt to bothered to write.  I did, however, have time to make a lengthy reply on a Facebook post that really didn't matter.  

WE as in our SOCIETY are addicted to our cell phones.   I am going to throw my husband under the bus here - because I don't have an Apple watch.   The continuous notifications are Satan's temptation.  I was watching him drive the other day and his Apple Watch pinged, it was a notification for SEMO Alerts, so then he felt compelled to get his phone out - I said, "I will look" because I knew he "needed" to know.  We interrupted our conversation to look at an alert for a fire alarm notification in Downtown Cape.   Like we interrupted our time together for a pointless notification.  

I could document a book where cell phones have prevented us from having time together, accomplishing task, interrupted our time with God, took away from family time, and cost us important things.  

Dear Heavenly Father, 

Thank you for the grace that you give us.  Thank you for loving us even though we fail so often.  Thank you for giving use the tools that we need and the ability to work for you.  

Father, I pray you cleanse our society of our addition to our screens.  I pray that you open eyes to waste we have become as we sit, and we scroll.  I pray you take that need to check notifications away from us.  I pray that you silence the distractions so we can be focused on your mission. 

Father God, I pray you work in my own heart against this temptation.  I pray that you help me stay focused on what I need to be doing that it be working physically or working spiritually.  

I pray that you help those in my own house.  I pray you make our phones and digital connections not needed and you make our connection to you a priority.  

God, phones are an addiction that takes away from you.   We need you.  We need to be working for you. 

Your Daughter, Becky of Marble Hill 

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Follow Your Heart

 “Place your passions, desires, and dreams under God’s control so that you serve God through the way he has designed you.” ~ Rick Warren 

Proverbs 27:19

As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.

Philippians 2:13

for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Colossians 3:23

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,

God gave me so many talents!  I have an amazing memory for things from age 2 to about 36.  Beyond age 36 it is a blur.  Recently a church from a neighboring community announced they were launching in our community.   Their leaders immediately reached out to me as a leader in our community to get involved.  The running line when I met with different leaders was “do you not remember me?”  Some did, some didn’t.  They do see thousands of people a year, but I remembered them, and their story was easier to follow than mine was as I don’t have podcast and a media team.  However, this relationship forgotten or not made our working relationship so much easier, and we could work together to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  

I am so good at making images and flyers for my community.  I do this for many of the businesses and organizations in our community.  God gave that talent to me, and I can use it for the good of my community and neighbors.  

I am really good at photography! Yep, gift from God!  My photos have been shared thousands of times.  Drawing attention to a situation, a community, a place, an event - showing what God has given us and even sometimes a need.  

I am a decent writer.  Decent because often I tick people off, but I am decent and I often draw people to story - again, a talent from God. I use this skill to put God's word out, draw attention to a need, talk about something that needs to be corrected - BUT I can only be successful with it if I am doing it under God's Blessing.  It has backfired before.  

I see needs where others don’t see them.  I remember when we were working with the tornado recovery, I saw things that needed to be fixed and was able to pray and advocate for those needs.  

I can paint furniture!  This is actually how I make my living.  Yes, I can paint beautiful classic pieces of furniture.  I love it, I love seeing the masterpieces when they go to their new homes! God continues to bless me as I continue to provide affordable quality furniture to the people of my community.  

All of these talents and gifts are things God Blessed me with.  I can choose to use them for him or not.  We have our freewill, but when we don't use them for his good then we are not living under him.  

I am not perfect, and I often forget “god or me” and have to remind myself “am I really doing this for the God’s good or is it for my own satisfaction”.

I am following Pastor Rick Warren’s Study “Following Your Heart” and learning about putting my talents and skills under God.  

We often forget the amount of power we have, especially today with social media and instant messaging.  

I encourage you to take 30 mins of your social media scrolling or pop in your earbuds while you work and listen to Part 1, it will wake you up as to why you might be struggling:  


Here are my takeaways from the study.  Not all of these are me but help me see more light into circumstances and people.  

  • Bitterness is the worst heart disease ever.  It will eat you alive.  It is worse than cancer.  When you are resentful and thinking about how to retaliate it keeps you in the past.  

Ouch, that hurts!  It is easy to be bitter.  It is easy to hold grudges.  When I listened to this one person came to mind, it is a woman that hates me - I mean really hates me, for something I didn’t even do, but she believes with her whole heart that I did, no matter how often I attempt to correct what she believes.  I pray for her, I pray God softens her heart, but also pray for her health and well-being.  I have seen her in passing and she looks so miserable, so uptight, and the hate she is feeling is pouring out of her body.   This kind of bitterness will take a person to their grave.  When I am praying, I am not asking for a rekindled relationship, but I am asking for peace in her heart.   She is an incredibly talented person, but her focus is hating for me instead of the great things she can do. I see that and I hurt for her.  

Thinking about that, I also have to check my bitterness.  I have GIANT wounds created by people.  Being a woman in leadership, well women are really mean, and sometimes men are really mean.  They do things to hurt me.  I have a neighbor that I can see them sitting on their front porch from my bedroom window - he says awful horrible things about me on social media.  Why?  I don't know.  It would be so easy for me to hate him and be bitter to him. I have to remember to let his hate and other's hate go, move on, and know that I am working for a greater power than this world.    

  • Under bitterness, I would add assumption, jealousy, and standards.  These emotions and actions often cause bitterness between people.   
    • Assumption:  We often assume that someone should do something that we want them to do.  We may not know all the facts, or we might know them, but be withholding the facts.  Assumption creates bitterness.  
    • Jealousy:  Social media creates so much jealousy.  So much jealousy.   I do not even need to explain this.  We all can check ourselves at the door with this.  
    • Standards:  You will hold someone you dislike to a higher standard than you will your close friends.  It is easier to pick your non-friend apart than it is to pick someone you adore apart.  No explanation - Check yourself.  

I have listened to this podcast 4 times in 3 days, I am slowly unpacking what I learn, journaling what I need to remember, and noting my own behaviors.  

Quick add it is easier to love people if you see Jesus in them first.   That’s Powerful!

Dear Jesus, thank you for giving us resources to help us see your light in the situation.   Thank you for giving us tools to learn from and sources to use.  Most importantly thank you for your word, the one true word, and the book to light our way.  Thank you for the Bible. 

Father, I am not without sin, but I rest in the fact that I have been wash cleaned by you.  Thank you! 

God, I pray that for those struggling or walking around carrying guilt, fear, bitterness, resentment, and more.  I pray you cleanse their hearts and use them and their talents for your good.  

Father, I pray you heal the wounds created by assumption, jealousy, and standards we have created in this world.  I pray you help us navigate through peace and love. 

Heavenly Father, I ask that you continue to use me for your work.  I desire to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  I desire to do your work and work for you in all I do.  I appreciate the hedge you have wrapped around me and the life you have given me.  I love you father with all my heart and soul. 

Father God, I pray you continue to speak to me and allow me to use your word to impact our world.  I pray that this message - your words - helps one person.  Creates one more soldier

 for the lord's army.  

God there has been so many blessings for my community.  I pray you continue to bless my community.  There are so many good people here working to do good things.  I pray if they march for you that you continue to use them.  If they don’t march for you that you convict them, cleanse their hearts, set them straight, and use them for your good!  I know they have incredible talents and could do so much for you and our community!  

Your Daughter, Becky of Marble Hill.  

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Integrity, Decisions, Joy

 ” Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord. Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts. They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths. You have charged us to keep your commandments carefully. Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees! Then I will not be ashamed when I compare my life with your commands. As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should! I will obey your decrees. Please don’t give up on me! “Psalms‬ ‭119‬:‭1‬-‭8‬ 

Yesterday, I listened to the Proverbs 31 Podcast "How Do I Know if I'm Making the Right Decision" with guest speaker Joel Muddamalle.   I highly recommend this podcast even if you do not have a huge decision to make.  It is more about making good everyday decisions than good huge decisions.  

If you haven't figured it out yet, I am stuck on Psalms 119 this week.  I have read, listened, and reread the book of Psalms Chapter 119 this week and I have found it speaks to every moment of my life. 

Last week and this week have been unnecessarily stressful for me.  While I love helping my community as much as I can, I hate being under the watchful eye of Satan.  Yes, I am going to label it as Satan.  Jesus will not critique you, complain at you, humiliate you, make unnecessary Facebook post about you, text your phone at 2am because you made a comment he didn't like, lie about you, mock you, or be mean to you.  You see those behaviors are not of Christ they are of the devil. 

Psalms 119: 4 & 5 says "You have charged us to keep your commandments carefully. Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees!"  

I sit as a semi-important position in my community.  Some days it is important and somedays it is irrelevant.  I have found it to be relevant to some when they want to use my position to for their own gain or if they want to get back at me for something they think I did or didn't do.  

Last week and this week I was asked numerous times for my opinion on a certain subject; I had an opinion, not exactly the opinion everyone thought I had, but my opinion was irrelevant to the situation.   None of the players in the situation were under my representation and none of them had asked for my assistance in the situation, so why did my opinion matter?  

It didn't really, but my influence was sought.  They wanted my influence instead of my opinion.  Was it really fair for me to insert my influence without knowing all the facts of the situation - the facts as to which I was not privy to?   Absolutely Not.  It would have been unfair to all the players for me to insert my influence on a situation that impacted every single household in my city.  

The whole situation felt icky to me, so I exited the situation by explaining that these individuals were not members of the organization I sit with therefore I stay neutral in the matter - BUT because they sought my influence more than my opinion this upset them even more.  It was a lose lose situation.  

Yesterday as I listened to the Podcast, I mentioned above, Mr Muddamalle talked about when we are decision making and seeking input on our decisions, we have to be transparent with those we are seeking advice from.  "They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths" Psalms 1119:3

How do we hide things and not comprise with evil?  We can't.  I knew that while I was making the decision to insert my opinion or not insert my opinion there was more to the story than what was being told and/or what I was being told or they wouldn't have been come at me so hard seeking my opinion or information from me.  Every request wouldn't have felt like I was being manipulated.   

I find joy in the fact that I sought God's instruction on the matter.  As the day neared and the time came close for the situation to be over, I spent my day NOT inserting my opinion, but instead fasting and praying for those making the final decision on the matter.   I found joy that my action while not pleasing to the world could reflect those of Jesus and how he faced hard times.  I found joy in knowing that while I didn't do everything perfectly - I asked God for guidance, and I obeyed his commands.  

The world or actually Satan using the world hates when we fall back on the word of God to make our decisions. 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the words of wisdom you have given us.  The guidance that helps us find answers to hard and simple things in this world.  Thank you for listening and guiding us in this world.  Thank you for resources and Godly people we can draw from.  Thank you for loving us so much even when we do not walk your path.  

Father God, thank you for my city and the people of my city.  Thank you for the growth and abundance you have poured down in our community.   Thank you for the hedge of protection you have put around my community and sheltered us from some of the problems we do not know about.   

God, I ask you to continue to bless our community and those in it.  I ask you to open their eyes to how awesome you are in this world and help their lives not only be abundant but easier.  

Father, you know those that are not following your word or living by your righteous regulations, I pray for them.  I pray that their hearts are softened, and they are open to your word and wisdom.  I pray that you become the most important in their lives and every decision they make is made with your wisdom. 

God, I ask that you help me be more like you every day.  When I stray or put me before I ask that you guide me back and remind me that you are knower of all and the hand the turns the world.    In Jesus Name I Pray, Becky of Marble Hill.  

(If you landed on this page and are thinking what in the world is this girl talking about.  I am a writer, I struggle to pray out loud, but I can write my prayers.   Praying for my community, the people in my community, and for a hedge around my community is the best act of leadership I can do.  This is my personal prayer journal titled "My City Prayers")

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Perryville Thrift Store & Psalms 119

 Today, I had to go to Perryville, Missouri for a meeting, that just happened to be blocks from the Thrift Store-Perryville MO Society of St Vincent de Paul!  So, I made a short stop and scored this amazing painting and adorable flower water can!  I was in awe.  I love the things the Society of St Vincent de Paul does with the money they make from their little store - so I always try to stop when I am nearby!  

Now, I know you really googled Thrift Store, Perryville Missouri and why am I talking about Psalms 119.  Well, I was listening to a podcast about Psalms 119 when I decided to make the stop.  Over the past few months, I have turned to listening to podcast and scripture while I drive long distances and while I paint.  I get a 2 for 1 deal, God's Word and I accomplish my task in front of me.  These are also my time with God.  Time for me to reflect on myself and work through the things that have been bothering me.  

Psalms 119, have you read it?  Wow it is loaded!  

I am worn out waiting for your rescue,
    but I have put my hope in your word.
My eyes are straining to see your promises come true.
    When will you comfort me?
I am shriveled like a wineskin in the smoke,
    but I have not forgotten to obey your decrees.
How long must I wait?
    When will you punish those who persecute me?
These arrogant people who hate your instructions
    have dug deep pits to trap me.
All your commands are trustworthy.
    Protect me from those who hunt me down without cause.
They almost finished me off,
    but I refused to abandon your commandments.
In your unfailing love, spare my life.
    then I can continue to obey your laws. 
Psalms 119; 81-88

There are times (more times than not) that I just become so overwhelmed by the overload of pressures from the outside world.  I often hate my phone and I really hate social media.  These devices are so full of sinful things.  Images, thoughts, conversations, just garbage that takes a toll on our hearts.  

Teach me your decrees, O Lord;
    I will keep them to the end.
Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions;
    I will put them into practice with all my heart.
Make me walk along the path of your commands,
    for that is where my happiness is found.
Give me an eagerness for your laws
    rather than a love for money!
Turn my eyes from worthless things,
    and give me life through your word.[b]
Reassure me of your promise,
    made to those who fear you.
Help me abandon my shameful ways;
    for your regulations are good.
I long to obey your commandments!
    Renew my life with your goodness.

I have found my heart hurting more and more these days from all the hate in this world.  All the sin, but then I remember the sin has always been there, but we forget to focus on God to protect ourselves from the sin.   

Monday, May 20, 2024

The Trashy Prayer

This week I realized, I am not praying enough for my community.  I mean thought filled prayers.   Over the last 2 years our community has became so bitter with each other, so bitter that the outside world sees it before our inside world does.   As a leader and a leaders wife this hurts.  We have a community full of good people. 

Tonight is our city council meeting; our leaders have an important vote that impacts a local business, but also impacts every single resident and business inside the city limits of our community.   This is a HUGE decision.  

I never felt my words needed to be spoke, but I knew my prayers needed to be prayed.  

Today, I am reciting this prayer over and over.  Begging for God’s Love and Mercy to pour over our community! 

Dear Heavenly Father,  I pray you guide the leaders of the City of Marble Hill to make decisions that please you.  I pray that you breathe your wisdom down on them and they only see what you see and do what you know is best.  

I pray that you give them courage and bravery.  You protect their minds, their hearts, and the lives.  I pray that every word they speak is spoken to them by you.  I pray you consume them completely and you rule over over our city.  

Dear Jesus I know you are the knower of all.  You know every person involved in this situation.  You know all intentions and meanings behind everything.  I pray mercy and kindness for all involved.  I pray understanding and wisdom.  I pray for prosperity for everyone.  

God my Father, I lay my life down for you, I worship your awesomeness, your love, and your being.  Thank you for all you have done for me, my husband, my family, my community, and the world the surrounds us.  I appreciate the hedge you will continue to build around us.  I know you will protect us, guide us,  and be our everyday savior.   I love you father.   I only desire to work for you.  I only want to be the hands and feet of Jesus! 

Your daughter waiting to be in heaven with you.  ❤️ Becky of Marble Hill.  

(If you landed on this page and are thinking what in the world is this girl talking about.  I am a writer, I struggle to pray out loud, but I can write my prayers.   Praying for my community, the people in my community, and for a hedge around my community is the best act of leadership I can do.  This is my personal prayer journal titled "My City Prayers")

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Rural Southeast Missouri Antiques: Cape Girardeau to Dexter

Rural Southeast Missouri Antique & Treasure Trail:  Mississippi River to Dexter, Missouri. 

Fun fact, I lived in Cape Girardeau County (Jackson, Missouri) for ten years when my kiddos were cute and little (they are older and mean now) and we absolutely loved the Downtown Cape Girardeau

Area.  I became quick friends with the Tourism Office
(VisitCape) and did lots of short clips and we were featured in a Cape Girardeau Video when they promoted the new Bike Trail as well as a tourism magazine promoting the riverfront for families.  

That all seems like an eternity ago.  Laurie the owner of Annie Laurie's (although she probably doesn't remember this) was the first shop owner to tell me that my kids were WELCOME in her shop which gave me the opportunity to teach my kids an appreciation for a variety of vintage things. I drug my kids in and out of stores, art shows, fairs and festivals giving them not only letting them have fun but also giving them a taste of culture affordably and close to home. 

Today as I chatted with a newer business owner on Spanish Street, I introduced myself as The Missouri Mom and told them what I do when I visit stores and shops.  They thanked me, although that was not necessary, and I was reminded of the bigger picture and the times that the shops downtown were kind to me.  

Here is my Rural Southeast Missouri Antique & Treasure Trail:  Mississippi River to Dexter, Missouri.   I am now the owner of Old Lutesville Emporium in Marble Hill, you are not required to visit my shop (that's not what this is about), but if you do, please ask for Becky, I would love to meet you and show you around my town. 

Sunday, April 14, 2024


Recently a fellow mom said “you are the most public person I know”… I laughed and thought this person thinks they really know me.    Sorry sister, you know the part of me I allow you to know.  

Fifteen years ago on a paid press trip to a Family Friendly Resort, I learned the true meaning of “privacy”. A man, that I did not know, overheard or sought out enough information about me to convince the young front desk clerk at the (major chain) resort that he was my husband and he wanted to surprise me with beer and roses. After leaving my kids attended to in the water park, I walked into my room to find a man in my shower, a dozen of roses on the counter and case of cheap beer beside the flowers.  I don’t drink beer.  It was an epic fail on all parts. 

I almost gave up my “influencer media role” that very moment and considered hightailing it to the safe grounds of Southeast Missouri, but instead I begin learning the middle ground. 

Social Media Sucks!  Yes I am on every outlet there is, I have more followers on X (formerly Twitter) than our regional paper, and I post so many times it’s annoying, BUT I also learned social media is necessary for business - no matter what business it is.  So until I am ready to retire and sit at home and do nothing, I will be social on the media.  

No One is safe from the intrusions of Social Media.  AND really NO ONE is stable and free from letting sin (jealousy, lust, and bitterness) take them farther than they want to go.  

SO as someone using social media as an information giver (press) or as an information receiver (reader/leaner/fan) you have to be aware of all the dangers and do some precautionary work and know you really don’t know the person on the other end.   That man in my hotel room would never have really wanted to be my husband - I am far too mean.  


  1. You may or may not see all my posts on social media,  I have the ability to change my settings to limit who sees what on every post.   I do that.  It’s my right and my power.  I have extremely close friends and then I have people that are just neighbors or associates.   

  2. At one time you may or may not have known my last name.   Now I don’t really have that need, but yes at one time I wrote and used social media under one of my very best friends last names.  It was a protection thing for my kids - and he happened to be my date to every wedding while I was single, so it worked.  

  3. Your kids do not have to be on social media.  They will not die if they do not have snapchat or TikTok!  Neither will you!  It’s not a necessary thing.

  4. More marriages and friendships have ended over snapchat and Facebook messenger - those messages do not always disappear.  Think before you send.   

  5. That end user is not always your friend or even a safe person.  Often people will ask me questions and I will pick up the phone and call.  Screenshots, text messages, phone numbers, ect can be altered.  Ex. I once had a lady that told me she was shown a message that I had sent about her.  I had never sent a message about her.  When I asked to show me the message, it was an obvious alteration to the contact picture.   Someone was jealous of what we were doing so they tried to destroy it.   I have often wondered how many more times this has happened, how many people hate me for something I didn’t actually do or say.  

  6. I am in control of who I want in my life - even on my business pages.   Guess what?!?! You annoy me. I can BAN your butt and live like a queen doing it.  

  7. I am in control of what I see!  Guess what?!?! I don’t see that many posts on social media.  1. I don’t get on social media that much.  It’s a time sucker.  2.  I unfollow people, places, things that I don’t like or want to see.  It’s amazing. And I can do a 30 day snooze if I just want to temporarily unfollow - I have actually shown people how to snooze me so they didn’t have to see Eclipse Post 900 times a day! 

  8. Social Media is NOT real life.   It just isn’t.   The lady down the street can be the nicest, most wonderful praise Jesus lady you have ever met on Social Media, but in real life she just isn’t and is out to hurt others and operating off bad intentions.  You can’t know this unless you in person know her.  

  9. Social Media Fame is TEMPORARY!  Even those influencers that have hundreds of thousands of followers, in 2012 it was thousands and I was the one with stats, something will knock them out of fame.  A new product, a new dance, a new shop, a new friend, a life change - something will replace them.  Because they are a fad and fame is a fad.  

  10. Take Breaks from Social Media and your phone before you get bad eyes and bad hands.   ONE day a week I put my earbuds in and spend the whole day listening to podcasts (usually God and Family Centered) and I IGNORE the social media world.  It is AMAZING!  I am refueled and feel centered.   Do this!  Do it for your family and friends!  Do it for yourself!   

  11. Read PAPER News!  It still exist and newspapers will still smut your hands!  Last week my husband asked “what are you going to wrap antiques with if the newspapers cease to exist”. Ummm that would be a problem!  BUT why paper???  Because print doesn't change!  Did you know an online post can be altered numerous times without you knowing it?!?!   News Online is not final.  Even though print is not always the most accurate, it can’t be altered, and is often used for sources in the future.  We go all digital we can change history and the future.  

When Yahoo and Microsoft Messenger was created the world forever changed.   There were no more simple days.  We no longer had the pleasure of stepping away or laying our phone off the hook for some private time.  It is like a 24 hour party line that wants to exploit you for good or bad.  

Your privacy is important.  Your down time is necessary.  Your heart is tender and needs you to be aware of what is lurking out there.   Take some time to snooze me and millions of others.  Make a goal to have in person conversations.   When necessary, limit who sees what you post online.   Only those that want to pry into your privacy will be mad at you for demanding your privacy.  

Your Abilities....Your Distractions

 You have 500 to 800 abilities.  What are you doing with them?   This is a touchy topic for me.  It makes me rather sad to think about how m...